Posts Tagged ‘Louis XVI’

Chapelle Expiatoire Paris

La Chapelle Expiatoire, and Marie-Antoinette’s smile

I read this morning in the papers that the corpses of the late King and Queen of France, by order of their brother, the restored Louis the Eighteenth, were exhumed from their grave in the former graveyard of La Madeleine, which has since become a private garden. The remains were removed with royal honours to […]



Execution of Louis XVI

On this day in 1793 died on the guillotine Louis XVI. I recommend Elena’s post at Tea at Trianon. On this engraving you can recognize the Place de la Révolution, formerly Place Louis XV (whose equestrian statue used to stand on the empty pedestal) nowadays Place de la Concorde.



Madame Adelaide Nattier

Madame Adélaïde, Daughter of Louis XV

After the twins Madame Elisabeth and Madame Henriette, Louis XV and Marie Leszczynska had another daughter, Marie-Louise, and two sons, Louis-Ferdinand and Philippe. Marie-Louise and Philippe both died in childhood, an all too commonplace tragedy at the time. Louis-Ferdinand, the eagerly awaited Dauphin, would be the father of the future Louis XVI. The next royal […]



purse embroidered by Marie Antoinette

At auction: a purse embroidered by Marie-Antoinette

At Christie’s in Paris tomorrow, with hundreds of other royal memorabilia from the estate of the late Comte and Comtesse de Paris. The Comte de Paris, who died in 1999 at the age of 91, was the Orléanist pretender to the throne of France. He was directly descended from King Louis-Philippe, who reigned in the […]



Laperouse bust

The Lapérouse expedition: travels and mystery

Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de Lapérouse was a French naval officer who fought on the American side during the Independence War. He distinguished himself by his humane treatment of British prisoners of war. It is interesting to note that, already in the 18th century, the treatment of prisoners of war was considered a test of […]



Madame Sophie Perin Salbreux

“La Petite Reine” is not Marie-Antoinette

Don’t feel bad if you believed otherwise: I did too, along with many curators and art historians. Of course I thought the face was rounder than in most of Marie-Antoinette’s portraits, the nose pointy instead of aquiline. The expression was not quite right either, lacking in boldness and character. But the Queen herself complained that […]



The Affair of the Necklace

On August 15, 1785, the “Affair of the Necklace” broke upon France, just as Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were about to attend the Mass of the Assumption, the patronal solemnity of the realm. Cardinal Louis de Rohan, who was supposed to offer the Mass, was publicly arrested in his pontifical robes for his part in […]



Ollivier Hunt at the chateau of L Isle-Adam

Louis XVI, the Royal Hunt and Bastille Day

When Louis XVI wrote in his diary Rien (“Nothing”) on July 14, 1789, it did not mean that the King was oblivious to the events in Paris. On the contrary he had taken measures to prevent the unrest, in particular by posting foreign regiments in and around the capital. Those measures proved unsuccessful, and even […]



The 10th of August 1792: the fall of the French monarchy

The 10th of August 1792 is one of the key dates of the French Revolution. Over the three years that had followed Bastille Day, the uneasy cohabitation between Louis XVI and the revolutionaries had slowly disintegrated. The attempt of the royal family in 1791 to flee to the Austrian border had ended in failure. Overnight […]



Storming of the Bastille

The 14th of July 1789: what really happened on Bastille Day?

First let’s put things in context. In 1789 France had been for decades in the grips of a budget crisis. It was due to the country’s absurd tax structure, and had recently been aggravated by the French support of the American Independence War. King Louis XVI, in order to implement new taxes, had called a […]